Loading posts...
  • zwei Migrantinnen sitzen an einem Tisch mit Stift und Papier und lachen

    Improved employment prospects

    Refugee women have a much harder time on the German labor market than refugee men – although their chances have improved over the years. This is shown by a new evaluation of the study “Living in Germany,” for which protection seekers who arrived in Germany between 2013 and 2019 were surveyed.

    According to the study, the employment of refugee women has increased but remains low compared to men. While five percent of working-age women surveyed reported having a job in 2017, nearly 13 percent did so in 2020. “Women are slowed down by several factors,” says SOEP migration expert Adriana Cardozo, who analyzed the data. For example, they lack education and language skills. And traditional gender roles also played a role.

    Encouragingly, however, the number of young women participating in educational programs has more than tripled over the years. The number of women with intermediate and good language skills is also growing steadily.

    “Women with refugee experience can make a contribution to compensating for the labor shortage in Germany,” emphasizes Adriana Cardozo. The expansion of integration and language programs is a prerequisite, she said. These should be even better tailored to the needs of women, for example by offering childcare options.

    Further information

    Handelsblatt: Untersuchung: Fortschritte bei Arbeitsmarkt-Chancen geflüchteter Frauen

    DIW Berlin: Langsam, aber stetig: Erwerbschancen geflüchteter Frauen verbessern sich

    All results in the overview

  • Menschen mit verschiedenen Hautfarben tragen eine Maske

    Migration and Covid-19

    By the end of October 2021, more than four million people in Germany had been infected with Corona. In order to be able to investigate possible differences in infections and vaccinations between people with and without migration experience, the antibody study “Corona Monitoring bun-desweit” (RKI-SOEP-2) was conducted. All participants of the survey “Living in Germany” 2021 were invited to participate in the antibody study.

    At the time of the survey in October 2021, most of the people in Germany had already come into contact with the spike protein of the Corona virus at least twice through vaccinations and/or infections, i.e. were already immunized. The proportion of those who had already come into contact with the virus at least twice was higher among persons without migration experience than among persons with migration experience (90 versus 82 percent). This difference is due to the higher vaccination rate among persons without migration experience. In addition, persons with migration experience had already contracted Corona twice as often as persons without migration experience (8 versus 4 percent).

    In their research report, the two researchers Dr. Manuel Siegert (BAMF-FZ) and Laura Goßner (IAB) show that the difference in the frequency of infection is not due to the migration experience per se, but to the different life circumstances, such as the residential, professional and family situation. For this reason, the researchers recommend that the respective living conditions of the group of people to be protected be taken into account when adopting protective measures and health campaigns.

    The RKI-SOEP-2 study was conducted jointly by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Research Center of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF-FZ) and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).

    Further information

    BAMF: Studie zum Infektionsrisiko für COVID-19-Erkrankungen

    All results in the overview

  • Frau mittleren Alters zeigt einer älteren Frau etwas auf einem Smartphone

    The Gender Care Gap

    Childcare, housework, and eldercare—all these domestic tasks are still done primarily by women. In Germany, women perform about one and a half times as much unpaid care work as men according to results of a recently published study based on data from “Living in Germany.”

    Between the ages of 35 and 39, women take on more than twice as much care work as men—and that, in turn, affects their income. DIW researcher Clara Schäper, who worked on the study, says: “Although the amount of care work begins to level out somewhat around the age of 40, the gender care gap has long-term effects on income inequality.” In fact, women in Germany have 18 percent lower hourly wages than men.

    Women spend more time on childcare in particular: Middle-aged women spend around four hours more per day looking after children than men. When it comes to housework, women spend around one hour more than men, but the difference increases with age. The amount of time spent caring for relatives increases with age, but remains significantly lower overall than time spent on housework and childcare.

    Further information

    Tagesspiegel: Kinderbetreuung, Hausarbeit und Pflege: Sorgearbeit ist weiterhin Frauensache

    DIW Berlin: Unterschiede zwischen Frauen und Männern bei Lohn und Sorgearbeit steigen bis zur Lebensmitte stark an

    Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

    All results in the overview

  • Zwei Mädchen halten eine ukrainische Flagge ans Fenster

    One year after the start of the war: How are the refugees from Ukraine doing?

    How are the Ukrainians who have fled to Germany since the war began? A representative survey conducted as part of “Living in Germany” provides answers. According to the survey, it is mainly younger women and mothers with children and young people who have found protection in Germany. Most refugees have a high level of education: 72% of adults have a tertiary, mostly academic, education. 17 percent are in employment. And a high proportion (nearly 80 percent) plan to take up gainful employment in Germany.

    The researchers see these developments as a positive sign. Nevertheless, major challenges remain. For example, they say, mental well-being, especially among children and adolescents, is lower compared to other age peers in Germany. “We need to provide Ukrainian refugees with sufficient psychosocial counseling and care,” says Sabine Zinn, vice director of SOEP. The survey is a joint project of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF-FZ) and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin.

    Further information

    DIW Berlin: Wie es den Geflüchteten aus der Ukraine in Deutschland geht

    All results in the overview

  • Frau steht an einem Pult und hält einen Vortrag

    Women in Management

    Women still make up just one in seven of all board members in Germany’s large corporations. But the good news is that women are catching up. Today, women are being promoted at least as often as men—if they’re working full-time. And in some companies, women’s chances of promotion are even higher. These findings came from a study by Berlin sociologist Katja Schmidt based on data from Living in Germany.

    According to the study, women are being promoted more often than they used to be, while men are being promoted less often. Looking solely at full-time employees, men and women are virtually tied: According to recently released data from 2020, around 7 percent of both men and women hold management positions. “But women are significantly less likely to work full-time than men, which again reduces their overall chances of being promoted to management,” says sociologist Katja Schmidt.

    Further information

    Frankfurter Allgemeine: Fortschritt für die Frauen

    All results in the overview

  • Schöne brünette Frau in einem Hundezahnkaromantel an einem regnerischen Tag zu Fuß durch die Stadt

    Refugees from Ukraine feel welcome in Germany

    Since February 24, 2022, more than one million people from Ukraine have fled to Germany alone. Many of them are now actively participating in life in this country. This is shown by the first representative survey on the living situation of Ukrainians who have fled to Germany, which was conducted as part of the “Living in Germany” study. According to the survey, 17 percent of the refugees are already employed, half are attending a language course and 60 percent live in their own apartment. The refugee children attend schools and some also daycare centers. While most Ukrainian refugees plan to stay in Germany only temporarily, a quarter would like to live here permanently.

    The vast majority of respondents (76 percent) felt “fully” or “mostly” welcome in Germany upon arrival. Their intentions to stay, on the other hand, vary widely: 34 percent want to leave Germany after the war ends, 26 percent want to stay in Germany forever, 13 percent want to stay for several years or less, and 27 percent cannot yet make a statement. “Many refugees are currently still unsure whether they want to live permanently in Germany,” says Prof. Dr. Sabine Zinn, vice director of SOEP, who worked on the study. “However, we assume that the number of those who want to stay will increase if the war continues for a long time.”

    The survey is a joint project of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF-FZ) and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin.

    Further information

    Zeit Online: Jeder vierte Ukraine-Flüchtling will dauerhaft in Deutschland bleiben

    FAZ: Die meisten fühlen sich willkommen

    DIW Berlin: Ukrainische Geflüchtete bringen gute Voraussetzungen für die Teilhabe in Deutschland mit

    All results in the overview

  • Zwei junge Männer unterhalten sich

    Good language skills also depend on the personality

    Refugees often don’t have an easy start to their new lives – partly because they lack language skills. How well and quickly they can acquire the language of their new home also depends on their personality. This is shown by data from the study “Living in Germany,” which Yuliya Kosyakova from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and Marie-Christine Laible from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) analyzed.

    According to the study, personality traits such as openness to new experiences, conscientiousness, readiness to take risks, locus of control, and also resilience contribute to people achieving good language skills. If, on the other hand, someone is particularly agreeable or neurotic, this has little influence. Personality traits are particularly relevant when it comes to verbal communication skills, the researchers write. This is less the case when it comes to writing and reading skills.

    Further information

    Kosyakova, Y., & Laible, M.-C. (2022). Importance of Personality Traits for Destination-Language Acquisition: Evidence for Refugees in Germany. International Migration Review, 0(0).

    Photo Anna Vander Stel, Unsplash

    All results in the overview

  • Mann steht auf einem hohen Berg und schaut zur Sonne

    How we grow

    Major life events like getting married, having a baby, or starting to work are widely believed to shape or even change people’s personalities. Researchers analyzing data from the study “Living in Germany” have found that this is only partly true.

    Marriage, for example, does not make people as happy as one might think. The “honeymoon phase” ends after about a year, and spouses end up being approximately as satisfied or dissatisfied as they were before. Separation, on the other hand, can have positive long-term impacts in that it makes people stronger.

    And after becoming parents, people’s lives are turned upside down, but their personalities change very little. “In fact, we mature more after our first job change than we do after the birth of a first child,” says Eva Asselmann, Professor of Differential and Personality Psychology at the HMU Health and Medical University in Potsdam, who conducted the analyses. You can find out more in her book Woran wir wachsen (“How we grow”).

    Further information

    Zeit Online: Der erste Job lässt uns mehr reifen als das erste Kind

    Book Tip:

    Eva Asselmann, Martina Pahr: Woran wir wachsen: Welche Lebensereignisse unsere Persönlichkeit prägen und was uns wirklich weiterbringt. – Die neuesten Erkenntnisse aus der Persönlichkeitspsychologie: Ariston, 2022

    All results in the overview

    Photo by Gaurav K on Unsplash

  • Teen from behind with head bowed


    Looking back, people often remember their teenage years as a happy time full of new adventures, friends, and freedom. But according to a recent study based on data from “Living in Germany” and another long-term survey in the UK, many teenagers experience this phase of life quite differently. The study shows that life satisfaction declines more between the ages of 10 and 14 than in any other phase of life. The research team, led by psychologist Amy Orben from the University of Cambridge, believes that this may be due to an increase in social insecurity or uncertainty during puberty.

    Further information

    Welt: Wieso die Zufriedenheit im Alter von 10 bis 24 Jahren so niedrig ist

    The Royal Society: Trajectories of adolescent life satisfaction

    All results in the overview

    Photo by Jesús Rodríguez on Unsplash

  • Großvater trägt Enkelin auf dem Arm

    Grandchild care

    Grandparents play an important role in the everyday life of many young families: They play with their grandchildren, take them to the doctor, and help with homework. A recent study using data from “Living in Germany” shows that this has not changed even after the increase in the number of daycare spots.

    According to the study, while 9 out of 10 preschool-aged children in Germany are enrolled in daycare, grandparents provide additional care for one in two children under the age of 6. And grandparents care for between 20 and 40 percent of all girls and boys under the age of 10 on a regular basis.

    When grandparents help with childcare, it’s mothers who benefit most: They feel much more satisfied with their childcare situation and with their free time. “And that in turn has a positive effect on the children,” says Katharina Spieß, director of the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), which led the study.

     Further information

    Süddeutsche Zeitung: Nicht ohne Oma und Opa

    DIW Berlin: Großeltern bleiben trotz Kita-Ausbaus wichtig für Kinderbetreuung

    All results in the overview

    Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

  • Manager explaining with a staff member

    People in leadership positions

    Bosses often have more influence and are held in higher esteem, but they also bear more responsibility and are more often under stress than the rest of the workforce.People in leadership positions often have more influence and prestige but also more responsibility and stress than other employees. In terms of personality, they often differ from others even before taking the leap into leadership. Leaders aren’t born—they develop over time, often starting long before they take on a leadership role,” says Eva Asselmann,

    one of two psychologists who analyzed data from the study “Living in Germany” to find out exactly how people become leaders. Asselmann and her colleague Jule Specht analyzed data on nearly 2,700 leaders and 33,700 non-leaders

    and found that in the years before entering leadership, leaders are more extroverted, open, emotionally stable, conscientious, and willing to take risks than non-leaders. They also believe more strongly that they have control over their own lives, and they place more trust in other people.

    These characteristics gradually return to baseline levels after individuals take on a leadership role. But self-esteem continues to increase in leaders over the long term.

    Further information

    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Zur Führung wird man nicht geboren

    All results in the overview

    Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

  • Older woman sitting at the radiator checking a bill

    Rising energy prices

    The German government has invested almost 24 billion euros in relief measures to counter rapidly rising energy prices due to the war in Ukraine. The money is going toward increased social welfare benefits, reduced gas taxes, and a heavily discounted monthly public transport pass. But are these measures actually offsetting the increased costs?

    As data from the study “Living in Germany” show, the increase in energy prices is placing the most severe burden on poorer households. For the poorest 10 percent of the population, the costs of electricity, heat, and fuel will eat up 6.7 percent of net income in the next 12 to 18 months. These households will receive 3.7 percent of that back in the form of government relief, leaving them with an energy burden of 3 percentage points. leaving them with an energy burden of 3 percentage points.

    For the richest 10 percent of households in Germany, energy costs will only consume an additional 2 percent of net income. They will receive 0.7 percent of that back in government relief, leaving them with an energy burden of just 1.3 percentage points.

    “There is a lot to be said for not reducing the tax burden on higher income earners, and in the medium term, for raising taxes on very high incomes and assets,” says economist Stefan Bach of DIW Berlin, who carried out the study with his colleague Jakob Knautz.

    Further information

    DIW Berlin: Hohe Energiepreise: Arme Haushalte trotz Entlastungspaketen am stärksten belastet

    Handelsblatt: Entlastungspakete der Bundesregierung für hohe Energiepreise: Es profitieren die Falschen

    All results in the overview

  • Junge beim Lernen in einer Klasse

    Parents’ German language skills help determine children’s success at school

    If parents in foreign-language families lack good German language skills, the children have significant disadvantages at school. As the “Living in Germany” study shows, only 15.5 percent of 13- to 15-year-olds from such families attended a high school in 2019. If, on the other hand, the parents have a good knowledge of German, the likelihood of their children attending a high school between the ages of 13 and 15 is almost the same as in families without an immigrant background. This is shown by an analysis of data from the “Living in Germany” study conducted by Wido Geis-Thöne of IW Cologne. He recommends that children be introduced to the German language in early childhood and preschool.

    Further information

    Geis-Thöne, Wido, 2022, Kinder mit nicht deutschsprechenden Eltern. Eine Analyse auf Basis des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP), in: IW-Trends,49. Jg., Nr. 1, S. 111-132

    IW Köln: Kinder mit nicht deutschsprechenden Eltern: Eine Analyse auf Basis des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP)

    Foto von CDC auf Unsplash

    All results in the overview

  • Junge mit Maske sitzt auf einer Treppe

    Refugees felt more discriminated against during the Corona pandemic than before

    Refugees who arrived in Germany between 2013 and 2016 felt more discriminated against during the first year of the Corona pandemic than before. This was particularly the case when it came to finding a job and in educational institutions, according to a study by researchers from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin. Refugees who lived in eastern Germany, were younger than 40 years old or had poorer knowledge of the German language, as well as employed women felt most frequently discriminated against. The study was based on data collected as part of the “Living in Germany“ study.

    Further information

    MiGAZIN: Flüchtlinge fühlten sich in der Corona-Pandemie stark diskriminiert

    DIW Berlin: Geflüchtete in Deutschland fühlten sich in der Corona-Pandemie stärker diskriminiert als zuvor

    Foto von Kelly Sikkema auf Unsplash

    All results in the overview

  • junge Frau spricht mit einer Frau

    Mentoring programs make the new start easier

    So-called mentoring programs bring refugees together with Germans to support them in everyday life, in dealing with the authorities, and in finding jobs and childcare. A group of SOEP researchers took a closer look at these programs and also analyzed data from “Living in Germany.” They found that refugees in mentoring programs have more frequent contact with Germans and also participate more often in cultural and leisure activities. They are also more satisfied with their accommodation than others. Their language skills also improve.

    Further information

    Jaschke, Philipp, Lea-Maria Löbel, Magdalena Krieger, Nicolas Legewie, Martin Kroh, Jannes Jacobsen & Diana Schacht (2022), 2022-03-22: Mentoring as a grassroots effort for integrating refugees – evidence from a randomised field experiment In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Jg. 48, H. 17,S. 4085-4105.

    Taylor & Francis Group: Mentoring as a grassroots effort for integrating refugees – evidence from a randomised field experiment

    Foto von Kelly Sikkema auf Unsplash

    All results in the overview

  • junge Frau sitzt an einem Fenster in einer Gemeinschaftsunterkunft

    Which refugees succeed in relocating particularly quickly?

    Housing is a central issue of our time and is also important for refugees. After all, the living environment has a significant influence on individual quality of life and social participation. How often, where and why do refugees in Germany relocate? Dr. Kerstin Tanis examined these and other questions on the topic of refugee housing using data from the Living in Germany study.

    The analyses, which are based in particular on retrospective data from housing histories in the survey year 2019, show that the majority of refugees have succeeded in making the transition from community accommodations to private apartments. Especially in the beginning, refugees relocate primarily due to official assignment, but with recognition of the protection status and longer duration of stay, the reasons for relocating become increasingly individual. When looking at the distance of relocation, it becomes clear that refugees often change their place of residence and not only their accommodation.

    Further information

    BAMF: Die Wohnhistorie Geflüchteter in Deutschland (Kurzbericht 01|2022 des Forschungszentrums des Bundesamts für Migration und Flüchtlinge)

    All results in the overview

  • Frau steht am Straßenrand und hält sich ihr Shirt vor die Nase

    Better air quality in cities

    In Germany, “environmental zones” are urban areas where only low-emission vehicles are allowed. The aim in creating these zones is to improve air quality and thus to have a positive impact on people’s health. Yet according to the results of a study based on data from “Living in Germany,” the life satisfaction of city inhabitants actually declines in the first few years after these zones are created.

    “People need about four to five years to get used to environmental zones,” says DIW researcher Nicole Wägner. In her view, the reason for this lies in people’s living situations: People whose mobility is reduced due to an environmental zone or who have to dig deep into their pockets to buy a low-emission car find it more difficult to accept them.

    People under the age of 65 and people with diesel-fueled cars are initially less satisfied when an environmental zone is created. “Younger people have a greater need for mobility and more often have to use a car to get to work. There are stricter standards for diesel-fueled cars in environmental zones than for gas-fueled cars,” explains co-author Luis Sarmiento from the Milan-based RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment.

    Further information

    DIW Berlin: Trotz besserer Luft: Umweltzonen verschlechtern temporär Lebenszufriedenheit der AnwohnerInnen

    All results in the overview

  • Young and older man fishing

    Taxes and transfers

    Relationships are all about give and take, and so is the one between the government and the people. In childhood, people are on the receiving end of government services such as school and daycare. When they reach working age, they have to start giving back by paying taxes. In old age, the relationship flips again, and the government pays their pensions.

    How exactly this give-and-take evolves over the life course depends on where people live and what kind of education they have. There are also differences between men and women.

    Researchers at the German Economic Institute (IW) in Cologne have developed an interactive graphic based on data from the study Living in Germany that shows what these relationships look like in detail.

    Further information

    Frankfurter Allgemeine: Wer den Staat finanziert und wer profitiert

    All results in the overview

    Photo by Federico Giampieri on Unsplash

  • young adult writes something on a blackboard

    Learning German

    Refugees face numerous challenges starting over in a new place. Many had to flee their homes in a hurry, so they arrived in Germany without a job or housing, and also without knowing the language. “Many refugees start out living in collective accommodations where they have little contact with German speakers. In the beginning, they don’t have many opportunities to learn the language,” says sociologist Cornelia Kristen, who is conducting research on language learning among refugees based on data from Living in Germany.

    She says that compared to other new immigrants, more refugees enroll in language classes, with almost three-quarters taking a German class. And the classes pay off. Despite starting off knowing less German than other immigrants, refugees improve rapidly in their first year and after about four years, they speak German just as well as other immigrants. These and other findings from the study by Cornelia Kristen and her team have been published as a DIW Berlin Wochenbericht (in German).

    Further information

    DIW Berlin: Geflüchtete lernen Deutsch am effektivsten in Sprachkursen

    Obermain Tagblatt: Sprachkurse sind für Geflüchtete am effektivsten

    All results in the overview

    Photo by Monstera von Pexels

  • Woman standing in front of a house with arms spread out

    The dream of home ownership

    Around 70 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 40 dream of owning their own home. But are people who have achieved this dream actually happier? Researchers at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) answered this question with the help of data from the study “Living in Germany”.

    Based on data from more than 800 homeowners, the researchers found that owning a home did indeed lead to greater life satisfaction. However, home ownership did not make people as happy they had previously predicted. The discrepancy between predicted life satisfaction and actual life satisfaction after buying a home was especially large among “status seekers”—people who value money and success relatively highly.

    Further information

    WirschaftsWoche: Macht der Hauskauf wirklich glücklich?

    IZA Newsroom: Positiver Glückseffekt des Eigenheims wird offenbar überschätzt

    All results in the overview

    Photo by Avin Ezzati on Unsplash